By Tim Polzer
December 07, 2012

The Yankees may have emerged as a late contender to sign free agent outfielder Josh Hamilton. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports via Twitter that the Yankees are doing their due diligence -- more specifically a background check -- on the sometimes erratic slugger who requires strict off-the-field supervision to control his addictions.

Nightengale's source, reportedly a rival general manager, doesn't give a reason as to why Yankees GM Brian Cashman is not involved in the Hamilton homework.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Cashman had been stripped of his power to make offers to free agents.

On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere.

The Yankees may not be the only American League East team still in on Hamilton. Alex Speier of WEEI reports Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen said that the team is continuing to talk to Hamilton.

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